A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Freddie, Fannie and Barack – Corrected

Turns out, our initial post “Freddie, Fannie and Barack” was erroneous. We’ve struck out the incorrect sections from our earlier post.
We said originally that Obama was the fourth largest recipient of donations from troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That’s wrong. Our post was drawn from data from the Center for Responsive Politics’ Web site, OpenSecrets.org. But the data we used were incomplete.
We talked to a spokesperson from the Center for Responsive Politics who told us that looking at all election cycles since 1989 (the first year for which CRP has data),

McCain and the 1967 Forrestal Fire

There is a nasty claim making the rounds in virulently anti-McCain circles, accusing him of responsibility for the terrible 1967 disaster aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal. That claim is bunk, and we said so in our Sept. 5 Ask FactCheck item, “Did McCain crash five planes?” Now we are saying so again – even more emphatically – based on additional research.
Among the new details: We question McCain’s widely accepted story that it was his own A-4 Skyhawk that was first hit by the errant missile that touched off the disaster.

Biden Refusing to Pay Campaign Debt?

Q: Is Joe Biden refusing to pay a $150,000 campaign debt?
A: Contrary to a claim in a chain e-mail, public records show Biden paid his debt to an air charter company in full, well before Obama tapped him for vice president. The accountant who wrote the e-mail now says it's "no longer true."

Stretching with Biden

Summary

Biden proved once again that it doesn’t take outright falsehoods to create a skewed impression of one’s opponent. We found in a Sept. 15 speech that:

Biden used partial quotes to support his charge that McCain wouldn’t help "small borrowers" suffering in the mortgage crisis but would "fight for those that lost their … real estate investments." In fact, McCain’s full quote said he would also fight for those who "lost their jobs" and "savings,"

There He Goes Again

Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama’s tax plans.

The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn’t proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain.

It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs,

Freddie, Fannie and Barack

Update, Sept. 19: Portions of this post were based on incomplete data. We have struck through the incorrect sections. Please see here for our corrected account. We apologize for the inconvenience.
In a Sept. 16 stump speech in Vienna, Ohio, Republican presidential nominee John McCain went after Barack Obama, his Democratic counterpart, charging that Obama can’t possibly hope to change Washington. After all, McCain said, Obama is a big part of the problem.

Joe Biden Lives!

No, we haven’t forgotten that the Democrats have a VP candidate, too. While he hasn’t been making much news lately, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden has been busy out on the stump. We’ve caught him stretching the truth a bit.
You can read all about Biden’s adventures in misquoting in our new article, “Stretching with Biden.”
Why are you still here? Go read it already.

We’re on TV Again

Thursday night to-do list:

Eat dinner.
Put the dishes in the dishwasher.
Get the kids to bed.
Tune in to CNN to watch FactCheck.org’s Viveca Novak bring Larry King (and you!) up to speed on all the latest ads from the McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden campaigns.

Still Off Base on Sex Ed

Several readers have written to us objecting to our story “Off Base on Sex Ed,” which said a McCain ad on sex education was “simply false.” These readers cite a story in the conservative National Review by Byron York headlined, “On Sex-Ed Ad, McCain Is Right.”
York is certainly entitled to his interpretation of the ad. We have read his article, which doesn’t mention FactCheck.org or our story, and we still find an ad that says Obama’s “one accomplishment”

Don’t Call It a Comeback

We been here for years.
Since 2003, to be precise. But in 2008, we have a lot more company than we used to. And Editor & Publisher, a journal that covers the newspaper industry (a meta-newspaper?) has taken notice.
In a special report published yesterday, E&P discusses a trend that we’re happy to see (and that we rather modestly like to think that we may have had at least a small role in creating): “How Fact-Checking Took Center Stage in 2008 Campaign.”